Human fulfillment – critical constructs

Can ‘fulfillment’ be converted from a fuzzy & vague idea into a set of precise constructs & tools, using which people can make specific & measurable changes in themselves?


Human Fulfilment is a complex subject when seen from a point of view of a world teeming with aspirations, desires, conflicts, and challenges of living.


However, when seen from the point of view of an individual’s own interior, then fulfilment suddenly becomes a more comprehensible subject.


Let us begin by defining the word fulfilment. Fulfilment means realization or actualization of one’s goal or purpose.

To be fulfilled means that all of ones’ goals or purposes – diverse as they may be – are realized wholly – and one is in a position to enjoy wholly the fruits of this multifaceted realization of one’s purposes.


This raises the next question: what constitutes goals or purposes worth realizing. In other words, if one’s purpose involved harming others and if such a purpose was realized, would one be fulfilled?

The answer to this question is – yes, one would feel partly fulfilled but there would be many other goals and purposes that would remain unfulfilled leading to a state of partial fulfillment – one that almost all human beings experience.


Would it not be true that this would be the fate of all human beings?

Every one of us has numerous goals – personal, interpersonal, social – on numerous dimensions of life – material, physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual. All human beings are trying to meet or realize many of these goals simultaneously or at least concurrently in different aspects of our life. Hence, every one of us would face a situation where one or a few of our goals are realized while other goals remain unrealized – leading to partial fulfillment.


This raises a further set of questions

  1. Is there a way to organize or classify goals in some hierarchy such that realizing a few master goals would automatically lead to realizing subsidiary goals?
  2. Is there a strategy to efficiently and effectively realize these goals so that we can be more fulfilled in our lives?
  3. Is there a way to obtain fulfilment by not following the strategy of realizing goals? i.e., can human beings be seen as something different from goal-realizing entities and is this a wise-strategy?


In short, the challenge of fulfillment in one’s life is a challenge that can be organized into four problems

  1. The problem of identity – who are we? Are we goal-realizing entities or something else?
  2. The problem of engagement – how do we optimally live our lives so that we are fulfilled?
  3. The problem of purpose – is there a way to hierarchize and organize our goals so that we can focus on a few essentials in our quest for fulfilment?
  4. The problem of meaning – How do we measure our progress towards fulfilment so that our day to day actions may be judged to be meaningful or otherwise in the context of a total fulfilment?


Fulfillment can then be seen in terms of a language comprising a set of four critical constructs:

  1. Meaning
  2. Purpose
  3. Identity
  4. Engagement

This is the first step toward exploring the interior landscape of humans.


(Originally written in 2014)